A bureaucratic tug-of-war is going on between the National Park Service and the National Capital Planning Commission over the projected $7 million tennis center at Rock Creek Park.

Even as paving the court with asphalt continues at the facility -- at 16th and Kennedy Streets NW -- and steamrollers work it into five hard courts for the July 27-Aug. 2 Sovran Bank/D.C. National Tennis Classic, commission members are haggling over plans, documents and jurisdiction.

The National Park Service, which runs the tennis center, the National Capital Planning Commission and the Fine Arts Commission were to have agreed on terms before construction began on the facility, which in two years is scheduled to have a 7,500-seat stadium, 15 clay courts and 11 hard courts.

George Oberlander, associate executive director for District affairs of the planning commission, said his office has yet to receive the plans. Threats have surfaced that unless the plans are approved, the new courts could be removed after completion; however, that isn't likely to occur.

"These are construction items," said Oberlander. "They do not fall into a maintenance or replacement category. They have to be approved by us. In our opinion, construction drawings should have been submitted."

But Oberlander added, "We have no provision for this type of situation. It is a procedural matter, really. All we have is a statute that says if somebody wants to do something, this is what they must do."

The park service, however, believes an exception can be made in this case.

"We feel that {granting a construction permit} was within our jurisdiction," said Mike Donnelly, the park service's national capital area regional planning coordinator. "It is not like {the Washington Area Tennis Patrons} have no intention to submit the plans. And we have told them that if those plans are not approved, the five new courts will have to come out."

Katherine Soffer, the planning commission's general counsel, said commission staff members "hope to meet informally with the park service so this can be brought into compliance."

Some residents have expressed concern on how an enlarged stadium would affect parking and traffic during the tournament. And some are unhappy that softball and rugby fields have been altered.

The project's funding, coordinated by the Washington Area Tennis Patrons (WATP), will come from private contributions, the leasing of 24 court-level suite boxes at $100,000 each and sales of 1,000 box seats. About $1.75 million has been raised.

The tournament is annually a source of about $100,000 for the WATP -- a nonprofit, charitable organization. In recent years, interest has declined because few big-name players opted to play on the slow, soft court in preparation for the U.S. Open, played later in the summer on a harder surface. This is the first year the D.C. tournament will be played on a hard-court surface.

Players committed to the event include Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Yannick Noah and Aaron Krickstein. All are represented by Donald Dell's ProServ sports management corporation, which runs the tournament with the WATP.

In order to allow the WATP to honor their commitments for this year's tournament, the park service granted them a permit to begin constructing the new courts. Regardless of the permit's conditions, Oberlander said, the planning commission must give its approval for the project.

"I don't want to give the impression that we are opposed to the idea {of the new tennis center}," Oberlander said. "It's just that there is an appropriate way of doing things."